Rock n’ roll. Lately, that term has lost its meaning. No longer are “rock n’ rollers” the decadent, drug-addled, psychedelic, free-spirited, womanizing axe-slingers that legends are made of. They’ve become too safe and too homogenized so that parents can foist these people on their little children as role models.
Once upon a time, being a “rocker” meant something. It meant having the life most people dream about: all the limousines, beautiful women, Les Paul guitars, drugs and booze you could lay your hands on. And in Get Him To The Greek, the man with this life is Aldous Snow (Russell Brand). The leader of a band called Infant Sorrow, he caps off a successful career with a song called “African Child”, a horribly shallow charity song that is unanimously considered “The Worst Song of the Decade”. It is even said that it was the third-worst thing to happen to Africa, next to famine and war.
Some years later, we meet Aaron Green (Jonah Hill), a greenhorn record label employee who thinks that a concert by Aldous Snow could be just the thing to generate revenue for his record label’s president, Sergio Roma (a delightful P. Diddy). Sergio tasks Aaron with bringing Aldous over from the UK for the concert and the resulting publicity stumps.
After breaking up with his girlfriend due to an enormous life-changing proposal, Aaron goes to London to collect Aldous, who is in no mood to leave; instead, he indulges himself and Aaron in his hedonistic lifestyle before heading Stateside. And from there, the two party their way from New York to Vegas to LA, leaving behind mayhem and destruction in their wake.
2008’s Forgetting Sarah Marshall introduced us to Aldous Snow, Sarah Marshall’s Brit-rocker boy toy. He finally gets his own movie here; Get Him To The Greek is a solid offering from producer Judd Apatow (who also produced Sarah Marshall), which usually means constant toilet humor and adults in varying states of arrested development. However, this isn’t just a case of exaggeration, as movies in this vein usually are; the excesses enjoyed by some of these people in real life are echoed with every drink, every toke and every note of this movie.
Director Nicholas Stoller reteams with Russell Brand and Jonah Hill to continue the legend of Aldous Snow, and they do so with such reckless abandon that you’re left wondering one of two things: “How did they get THAT past the censors?” and “Dear God, what’s next?!” The balance between profane and sweet was perfect, making for an enjoyably side-splitting comedy.
“This is it, Aaron. This is rock and roll. Did you enjoy the party?”
With these words spoken at a very telling moment, Aldous Snow sums up everything Get Him To The Greek is about – the rock and roll fantasy… and the harsh reality that follows. And that is what I appreciated most about this movie: it didn’t hesitate to show you that while fame is amazing to achieve, it may come at a steep price.
FINAL GRADE: B+